Do you really feel like you’re in control of your smartphone? Are you doing everything you can to protect your device? If the answer’s no, you’re not alone. NordVPN recently surveyed smartphone users in several European countries; let’s get into the results.
Our study involved respondents from numerous countries including France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The results show that almost half of smartphone users in these countries feel that they don’t have control over their devices.
More worrying still, many of those surveyed did not have a clear understanding of cybersecurity and privacy threats, or how to protect against them. The majority relied on outdated security measures like simple numerical pins and passwords.
If there’s one takeaway from this study, it’s that most people simply aren’t equipped to keep themselves and their smartphones safe on the internet.
So how did countries in Europe compare? Let’s take three from our study.
While a pin or password can help, you should try to add as many layers as possible. Many Spanish respondents used both a pincode and a pattern swipe lock, which is certainly a step in the right direction.
However, a more secure option may be a biometric lock, like a fingerprint scanner or a facial ID system. That’s not to say these methods are perfect — fingerprint locks have been bypassed before using images of the user’s finger, while face ID has been shown to be less effective for people of color.
But while these are both worrying factors, biometric authentication is still more effective than a simple password. We would urge you to use a combination of different locking techniques, instead of relying on a single method (a practice referred to as two-factor authentication.
If you are one of the many people who do not feel like they’re really in control of their device, here are a few tips for changing that.